On Monday 16th May, Transition Liverpool were among those invited to contribute to a panel discussion organised by the University of Liverpool to an audience of 140 people. Read more on Low Carbon Liverpool's work here.
James Johnson - Liverpool Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
300 offshore wind turbines are in development in Liverpool Bay, and the city is on target to meet the 2025 energy reduction requirement. The development of green energy will be consumer driven. A tidal barrage would produce 1% of national energy needs and would be intermittent.
Carl Beer - CEO Merseyside Recycling and Authority (MWRA)
There should be no waste; our main carbon emissions are from the production of stuff. Recycling can only reduce this by 20% so a reduction in consumption is the only way forward. Repair, repurpose, share, redesign, are all essential and the top materials to work on are metals, textiles, plastics and food.
Peter North - University of Liverpool Geography Department
Calls for the new Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham to pull together all the local initiatives and give support to the reduction of marine pollution through waste. Also to tackle food recycling, both edible food to those in food poverty and composting/ digesting waste food.
Dinah Dossor - Transition Liverpool
Stressed the importance of individuals taking personal action (Be the change you want to see) of community based activities and highlighted the positive aspects of living sustainably and the resulting social and emotional rewards.
John Garrett - Ullet Road Eco Offices
Presented some salient energy saving information on the Eco Offices and called for the Metro Mayor to set up a Merseyside Retrofit Hub to bring together information on retrofit for domestic and other buildings and offer advice, research and development in this field. Without effective retrofit, we will struggle to reduce carbon usage and tackle fuel poverty.
Janet Beer - University of Liverpool Vice Chancellor
Invited Mary Robinson, a passionate advocate of sustainability, to address the next conference of university vice chancellors.
On Saturday 13th May some of our group will visit the esteemed Halton Mill near Lancaster to meet with other Transition initiatives to explore the idea of developing a regional hub. We will report back but for now here is the link for any of you who would like to find out more, maybe get involved and come along. Also hubs are explained on the Transition network site here
In our April Transition Cafe we heard from some amazing local projects who are building a network of reusing materials, sharing resources and building community. George's report of the event gives all the details.
Upcycling Meeting Report
We had an excellent meeting at the Brink on Wednesday 12th April (making an emergency switch from the QMH where there was no water). Many thanks to the Brink, their staff and the other users !
Introduction (expanded since the meeting)
Humans and their industries have been working away making more stuff, so that everyone can have what they want. This has led to economic growth, but also to exploitation - of the planet, and of workers. The growth process has now become overheated, to say the least, so that the planet is warming, and we are also running out of key resources like oil and gas, where the Law of Supply and Demand will inexorably lead to major price rises and/or shortages. Much of the growth has also had planned obsolescence built in – washing machines that JUST reach the end of their warranty period before needing major repairs or replacement.
In more personal terms, it was absolutely reasonable for me to get an electric drill 20 years ago, when I bought a house, but, it isn’t reasonable for 90% of men over 25 to own their own electric drill, especially when they are designed for 1000 hours of use, but the average person drills 12 holes a year, which is about 2 minutes usage per year.
Growth has led to things being cheap, so we have been wasteful – replacing our kitchens and bathrooms every 6 years rather than repairing them, so that we generate huge piles of waste. Again, this is reasonable enough when you look at what each person or family creates, but when you see a rubbish tip, and the stream of vehicles bringing more waste, then it is unacceptable, and landfill taxes make it uneconomic too.
We created our meeting to look at some of the ways we might improve things, particularly the Library of Things and a Repair Café, but first we heard some excellent presentations form local organisations who specialise in recycling and Upcycling on a large scale and also some local makers.
Total Re-use, Skelmersdale http://www.totalreuse.co.uk/ Martin Gamester, their founder spoke to us about their work. They specialize in re-finishing, recreating and improving furniture (examples are tables at Leaf on Bold St and at the Students Guild). However, they also have a paint recycling service (20% of paint is unused, on average), they take mattresses and sofas apart to recycle the constituents, and gather “useful stuff” on an industrial scale. They have a furnace for re-fusing glass which they will develop soon, and they have sponsored 5 or 6 Shed Clubs in Mid and West Lancashire, including one in Bootle
Emmaus Project, Seaforth https://www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside They do house clearances and upgrade the furniture to sell it from their charity superstore on Sandy Road, Seaforth. They are unusual in that they are an integrated project, and perhaps it’s fair to say that one of their primary goals is to provide work, training and accommodation for people who were formerly homeless or living in hostels. They are just starting here, and they have a newly built community building for up to 28 people. They also have shops in Old Swan and Bootle at the Waste Recycling Centres. They also have gardens with raised beds and polytunnels.
DoES, Gostins Building, Hanover Street https://doesliverpool.com/ They are Liverpool’s primary high-tech maker centre (though there are now 3 others) They have 3-D printers, laser cutters and vacuum formers, desk hire, and help with Raspberry Pi projects, etc. They have a CNC mill that operates in 3-dimensions, and a machine for knitting hats that they built themselves using 3-D printing of most of the components, using a 100-year old machine design available free on the internet. They also custom-build artificiual limbs for people of all ages. So, they can build new, more suitable adaptations of existing designs, and also do repairs, for example, if you break a plastic part on your vacuum cleaner, they can either make a new part using designs on the internet, or 3-D scan the broken piece and make a new part based on that
(Make it Workshop Southport https://makeitworkshop.wordpress.com/ sent their apologies but weren’t able to come. They have 3 shops in the Cambridge Walks Arcade – cycle rebuilding, up-cycled furniture, and Curiosity Shop which includes re-purposed bakelite telephones and other “classic electronics”)
Freya Levy http://www.freyalevydesigns.com/ brought some of her mosaics and cards to show us
Maya Lorkowska from Damibu http://www.damibu.com/ told us about their “Grow a Group app” that might be very useful for connecting resources and needs
Paul from Sustainable Liverpool http://www.sustainableliverpool.org/ spoke about the empty “derelict” properties he is looking at , which may be suitable for sustainable re-building and as a centre for projects such as these.
There was a lot of information to take in and digest as to what is possible, and eventually we split into 2 group to look at the main ideas for reducing waste and duplication
Library of Things
I wasn’t in this group, so I need to know more about what was said !
There is a huge spectrum of possibilities, from the smallest scale where you have a free shelf or cupboard where people can leave things they no longer want, and anyone can take it away – people need practice at doing things like this
At the other extreme, there are recycling superstores, where “economies of scale” might mean it could get more publicity, and attract more users, and so be more economic and attract artists and other creative workers. This would need more funding to get started
Alternatively, we could try to support the existing tool sheds and enterprises to extend their operations into this area.
Membership terms, and costs of the service would also need to be clarified.
Chris from DoES could do many electrical repairs, Peter might repair machinery, I could repair or rebuild computers. In each case, there are 2 main issues:-
We also spoke about some of the main challenges of computers and phones – all electronic equipment eventually breaks and dies, however, you shouldn’t lose all your files. We could set up a cloud backup system for a wholesale service to encourage people to do this properly.
We didn’t have a group for this, but many of the things produced now are mediocre but cheap – clothes, furniture. These can easily be upcycled or improved with a bit of effort.
The Way Forward
The is a lot to digest ……. But, we can move forward in 2 main ways.
On 20th March we were invited to co-host a Transition event at Metal Liverpool, a heritage arts project based at Edge Hill, the oldest active passenger railway station. We were joined by mostly new people from the area and some artists working with Metal on their residency programme.
Permaculture is a practical method of designing and developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere. By thinking carefully about the way we use our resources - food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs - it is possible to get much more out of life by using less and working towards zero waste.
For a more detailed description you can visit the Permaculture Magazine's definition here
We shared soup then took a short tour of Metal's unique community garden space which has heaps of character and potential to demonstrate how permaculture can maximise a shady spot. We then gathered back in the station building and had some small group discussions on "What is permaculture?" and "Existing and Future Local Permaculture projects".
Existing projects we listed are Mersey Rd Allotment Plot, WEA Permaculture themed courses, Green Guild Hugelkulture, Waterloo Forest garden, Merseyside Permaculture group (Facebook), Everton park permaculture herb spiral. (If you know more please send the details so we can add to this list)
Future project ideas were shared for Metal Community Garden, Quaker Burial Ground and Orchard, Hugelkultur demo in Bebington, St Brides Church Forest garden, and we've heard there's plans or ideas for a Forest Garden in Netherton and L8.
Sabina Sallis North East based artist explores the theme of permaculture and is interested to discover more about what is going on in this field locally so we'll be sharing what we find with her for her research.
Mary Jane and the team at Metal would be happy to support more meet ups and can host at Metal, so if you are interested please get in touch and let us know what you'd like to happen.
In the mean time you can visit Metal's Garden on Tuesdays 1-4pm, Green Guild on Wednesday Afternoons, Quaker Ground Community Garden on Sundays 1:30-3:30pm and the Mersey Road Allotments (Permaculture) Community Plot access from 12-1pm all welcome.
TRANSITION CAFE PROGRAMME
We are pleased to confirm details for our forthcoming Transition Cafe events.
(To be held mostly at Quaker Meeting House unless otherwise stated)
Every Second Wednesday of the month we host a Cafe event from 630pm where we share food and learn together.
February 8th 630-830pm at we will share ideas with each other for initiatives to take forward for 2017
March 8th 630-830pm we will be joined by Erik Bichard who will present about Real Worth and the Value Game.
March 20th 6-8pm we'll have an extra session at our friends at Metal Culture for a Permaculture Meet Up.
April 12th 630-830pm we will be have a discussion evening around the topic of Peak Stuff
May 10th 630-830pm we will be exploring our hive brain about ideas around Ecovillages, Co-housing, Community and Sustainable building
OTHER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Thursday Meet Ups
We also now meet up at The Brink every Thursday 4-6pm for a cuppa and a catch up.
Our Energy group are in discussion about forthcoming meetings.
We are planning to have a social in the summer again - watch this space
There is a growing group of people helping on allotments that people in our network are involved with. When a big job breaks out we organise to help and other are more getting more involved on a regular basis.
Trips and Tours
Quite a few people in our network are interested in organising some trips to places of interest we will share details here when things are organised
Our Symposium full day event will be on Saturday 14th October all welcome details to follow soon
Lots of conversations always happen about ways Transition can work best in the city - maybe you have some energy and commitment to take something forward? e.g. Sustainable Transport group, Repair Workshop, Clothes Swaps etc. get in touch if you'd like to do something and you want to share it as part of this list.
Join us for our first Transition Cafe event this year. We will show Transition 1.0 film and afterwards draw up a plan for our activities for the year. 630 for food 7pm for film. Quaker Meeting House, School Lane, Liverpool
This auspicious day is bringing you a jam packed transition day.
At 12:30 our Energy group will meet with Liverpool John Moores University Researchers to hear about their findings and at 18:30 all are welcome to enhance and develop the findings of our People's Plan discussion from the Symposium day we held on 15th October. New members always welcome. Please email to confirm your attendance firstname.lastname@example.org
12:30 Meeting - Energy group meeting details here
18:30 Meeting - People's Plan and Transition cafe details here
Well summer has almost gone but the harvest is still to be gathered. We have been trying to take stock of where we are and how we have been doing so we can plan for the future.
In July we enjoyed our social at Dutch Farm very much and through deepening our sense of connection we have been brimming with ideas which has supported us to prepare for some events to see us through the Autumn. There have been some mutterings about organising events outside of the city centre such as a Really Really Free Market in Waterloo and an Inner Transition Gathering - Please email us on the link below if you think your community would benefit from Transition activities - email@example.com
Wirral Earth Fest
Film Screening and Discussion
At our monthly Transition Cafe event on September 14th we will screen the film This Changes Everything and host a discussion afterwards - you can visit the event link here or just turn up - Entry is free and we will be accepting donations.
Symposium - Radical Shift: Building Sustainable Futures for a Devolved Liverpool Region
During October we will be organising all the last bits for the Symposium on Saturday 15th so there won't be a monthly Wednesday cafe as it's so close. The symposium aims to strengthen networks devoted to environmental and social justice and create a shared vision of what a sustainable devolved Liverpool City region could look like, and begin working towards a tangible resource for groups to work from. To register and for more information visit radicalshift.eventbrite.co.uk
In November monthly Cafe we will have a follow up session from the symposium to build on the ideas shared on the day.
Other local events and activities
On Monday 3rd October Nick Drew is organising an environment day in Heswall with Planet Heswall around a theme of water.
On Friday 28th October there will be a local 'taster session' about Carbon Conversations
www.carbonconversations.org for people interested in the idea of training to be Carbon Conversations facilitators. Numbers are limited, so if you would like to take part in this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
News, events and opinions from the Transition Liverpool team.